Accommodated testing is the practice of granting additional time or services to certain test takers, typically those with disabilities or impairments. Special accommodations are granted to these test takers in order to level the playing field, and give them an opportunity to produce a score that accurately reflects their abilities.
The exact accommodations vary depending on the needs of the student. Usually, the LSAC will provide extra time for those with cognitive disabilities. Students with physical or visual impairments will receive appropriate accommodations tailored to their specific disability or impairment, and appropriate accommodations can include exams in Braille, large print exams, alternative answer sheets, LSAC provided exam reader or scribe, or a podium to take the test on. In each instance, the accommodations are customized to the exact needs of the students.
What disabilities are typically approved for accommodations?
- Learning Disability
- Hearing Impairment
- Physical Disability
- Neurological Impairment
- Psychological Disability
- Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
- Medical Conditions that may affect your performance (injury, etc)
How is a need for accommodated testing established?
Receiving accommodated testing takes much more than just notifying the LSAC of a disability or impairment; applicants must undergo a variety of tests in order to qualify for accommodations, and results of those tests must be submitted to LSAC. Students with cognitive disabilities are required to submit neuropsychological/psychoeducational testing, while students with visual impairments or physical impairments must be tested on how those impairments affect their life and testing ability. All tests must be performed by a qualified evaluator, and evaluations are conducted by psychologists or physicians that are familiar with the disability or impairment.
Also, it is important to note that all of the documentation and request forms must be submitted by the registration deadline for the LSAT the student is intending to take. In some cases the qualification process can take longer than expected, and therefore, the LSAC recommends submitting all forms as early as possible.
For more information on what tests are required and who can administer these tests, please contact the LSAC at 215-968-1001 or visit the Accommodated Testing section of their website.
LSAT scores and accommodated testing
The scores for students who receive accommodations that do not include additional time will appear exactly the same as all other test takers without accommodations. In contrast, students who are granted extra time per section as part of their accommodations do not have their scores reported in the same manner as other students. The following changes are made to the score reports of students receiving extra time:
- The LSAC
notifies schools requesting CAS reports that the accommodated
scores should be interpreted with the understanding that extra
time was given.
- Scores achieved
with additional time are not averaged with standard time scores
or other additional time scores. For example, if you achieve a
145 under standard conditions and a 155 under accommodated conditions,
an average score of 150 will not appear on your record.
- There is no percentile rank given for additional time scores.
Even if a student receives approval for accommodated testing, the LSAC is unable to guarantee that a specific testing centers will be able provide approved accommodations, and the student may be forced to take the exam at a different center. So, the general rule is that you should submit your accommodations material as soon as possible.
Students granted accommodations typically do not take an experimental section. This is a huge advantage because accommodated students know that every question they face counts towards their score.
for students who receive extra time are reported differently than
other test takers, an accommodated score is not considered a disadvantage
in the admissions process.